Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr., the only son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is vying for a seat in the senate.
The younger Enrile or Jack who is now on his fourth term (1998-2007, 2010-2013) as representative of the 1st District of Cagayan was among the top absentees in the House of Representatives. He ranked 7th with an attendance rate of around 40 percent. According to rollcall.ph which tracks the attendance of congressmen, Jack was present in 44 out of 109 session days from July 27, 2010 to Nov. 14, 2012. Documents posted on the official Congress website also showed that Jack was only present in 30 session days out of 59 in 2011. Jack explained that he preferred to visit his constituents.
A Rappler article read, “Jack was among the scions of political families who are forced to run for public office. He has never shown serious interest in the job. And his victories were attributed to the fact that his family practically dominates local politics.” In another article, Enrile said he only agreed to run in Congress on the condition that it is only for one term.
However, his first term was followed by another and another and another. Enrile had been Cagayan’s representative for almost 12 years and was the principal author of Kasambahay Law, the Credit Access and Reform Bill, the anti-Monopoly Bill and the Food for Filipino First Bill.
During his stint in Congress, Enrile was not always in the limelight and had maintained low profile until he declared his plan to run for senator in the 2013 mid-term elections.
Before serving as representative of Cagayan, Jack was the President and Chief Executive Officer of JAKA Investments Corporation and the JAKA Group of Companies from 1994 to 1998. JAKA is a family-owned corporation, which serves as the holding company for 22 subsidiary companies.
Prior to that, Enrile was also employed as purchasing manager in the family’s company before he pursued his MBA at the Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Enrile is the founder of the Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) in 1982. He is also the Regional Director of the International Practical Shooting Confederation.
When Enrile declared his candidacy, his dark past began to surface. He is being linked to the deaths of La Salle student Ernest Lucas and celebrity Alfie Anido, his sister Katrina’s boyfriend then.
These were all denied by Enrile. But he admitted that during his younger years, he too was involved in fights but clarified that he did not go to the extent of killing somebody.
In 1975, in an exclusive party for Ateneo students, Enrile allegedly confronted Lucas and asked him to leave. But Lucas returned later in the night and the alleged shooting took place. Lucas instantly died of a gunshot wound in his forehead.
Meanwhile, Anido’s death, according to many news reports, was self-inflicted. After Anido’s body was found in his own house, his parents also released a statement affirming that it was indeed self-inflicted.
In an article, Enrile narrated that he was with his father’s chief security aide, now senator Gregorio Honasan, having dinner in a Japanese restaurant in Makati City, when they got two radio messages. “First, Anido was driving like a maniac from Antipolo to the Enrile residence in Makati to bring Katrina home. Second, Katrina was on his way to Anido’s house hysterical. That’s when Jack decided to follow Katrina.”
Enrile was not in good terms with his father until 2006. Eventually, when his father was already aging and should be retiring, the young Enrile then willingly took the challenge to seek higher “to continue the legacy” of his father.
The centerpiece of Jack’s platform is food for every Filipino. He said,” No Filipino should go hungry in his own country. The government and the private sector should make the prices of food pro-Filipino.
Enrile also advocates for the improvement of the agricultural sector. “Through the progression of this sector the problems of hunger and poverty facing so many Filipinos today will hopefully be remedied.”